Commonly asked Questions and Answers
I have decided to have a "barefoot" beach wedding. What now?
Call or e-mail for date and time availability.
The most popular times of the year for a wedding on the beach in this area is March to November- we do offer our services year round.
The most popular months being May, June, September and October although mid November we still have weather in the mid 70’s.
Keep in mind that Friday & Saturday sunset ceremonies are the first to be booked.
We will be able to provide you the sunset time for the date upon your inquiry.
Where are you located?
We are located in North West Florida on the Gulf of Mexico.
We service Navarre Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa Island, Destin and surrounding areas.
Why should we choose your company?
2015 is our 16th year in business. We have Happily Married 3000+ couples.
The Barefoot People offer quality service with integrity. We are here for you from the first phone call or e-mail. We do have an actual location/office; most of the wedding companies are home-based. The Beach Wedding business is our only "business".
We do not refer to ourselves as "Wedding Coordinators"... we are a "Beach Wedding Service". We are happy to refer you to other wedding vendors at no charge to you
Feel free check references with any vendors in the area as well as our "Guest Book" to see what former Barefoot Beach Brides have to say about their "Special Day".
We enjoy what we do and are extremely humbled by the success.
We do realize we may not be for everyone,. Be sure to shop around, there are several wedding companies in the area, it can be confusing as to which one to choose.
Read the "fine print". Is there a % added on for a service and/or delivery fee?
Make phone calls and send e-mails. Are your calls or e-mails promptly returned in a friendly manner?
Ask for references from former Brides and other businesses. Any Wedding Company should be more than understanding and provide you with this information.
Will you be able to meet the Officiate/ Wedding Director prior to the "day of" your wedding? We ask that ALL of our couples come by our Office to meet before the day of the wedding, to drop off Marriage license, meet the Officiate/ Wedding Director review the wedding format, vows, music, decorations, etc.
There is NO fee for this. Some companies just "show up" 30 minutes before the wedding or will charge an additional fee to meet w/ couples prior to the wedding.
Is the Beach Wedding Company licensed and insured? Any legal wedding company should be able to provide a copy of City/ County Business Tax (Occupational) licenses,
as well as liability certificate. Proof of these documents are a requirement at County/ State Parks.
Okaloosa County public beaches require the vendor/company to have a qualified beach vendor permit
Barefoot Weddings #QBVC0001
This is for YOUR protection as well as the County
Beware of Companies that ask for CASH or checks made out to an Individual when booking over the Internet. Unless the Individual has an Occupational License as their name, otherwise payment should be made in business name.
All checks/ Money Orders are made to Barefoot Weddings Inc. as well as credit card payments.
How soon should we reserve our date and time?
If you choose a Friday or Saturday sunset we suggest putting a deposit down as soon as you have decided (to hold the date.)
We will not take bookings any further than 1 year in advance.
How do we book our wedding?
Once you've decided the time and date and the availability is confirmed through our office, we require the appropriate deposit/ payment for the services requested. There is a Request Form available on this site that can be printed to be filled out to be mailed with proper deposit/ payment. We accept personal checks and Money Orders. We also accept Visa and Master Card; (we ask that you call our office with credit card information rather than send it via mail or e-mail.)
Once payment is received a contract, our Barefoot Beach Wedding format and a packet of vows to choose from will be mailed to you. You may call or e-mail as much as you'd like and ask as many questions as you like, even if it's the same one. smile!)
When you arrive in town for the wedding, we ask that you contact us to set up a meeting the day before your wedding
to review the ceremony, vows, etc....
Do you pick the location for the ceremony or do we?
The location is your choice. We go to County/ State Parks, hotels, condos and beach houses.
There is an additional travel fee for “out of the area”. The fee is based upon the services requested.
Some of the locations do charge a fee for the use of the beach as well as a "Special Use Permit"...
These fees are NOT included in any of the Barefoot Beach Wedding Packages"
Okaloosa County Public Beaches
*** Permit and Fees Required for Weddings with over 49 People - including Bride and Groom***
Requirements are proof of a Million dollar liability policy, permission from Okaloosa County Sheriffs Office,
Emergency Management Systems, approval from Parks and Recreation, approval from the Board of County Commissioners.
Notarized Hold Harmless agreement
Deposit of $100.00 and Fees from $100.00 - $250.00
Beach Wedding Companies are required to have an annual Beach Vendor Permit
for weddings on Okaloosa County public beaches.
The cost of the permit is $500.00 from the vendor NOT the couple
Barefoot Weddings Okaloosa County Qualified Beach Vendor # QBVC0001
For more information Okaloosa County Parks Dept 850-689-5772
Please visit our "locations" link for some of the available areas.
Can we get married at the location we are staying at?
Yes, as long as you obtain permission from the hotel/ condo
Be sure to ask if there is an additional fee for the use of the beach for the wedding. The couple is responsible for any “fees” that may be charged.
If you are planning a wedding on the beach at a beach house be sure to ask if it is part of a home owners association. There are some locations where it must be approved before the Board of Directors.
Are rehearsals included?
No. There is an additional fee of $300.00. Rehearsals must be scheduled no later than 2 hours prior to sunset time. Cost includes that Officiate and one other person from our company who will also be there the day of your wedding..If you need someone to direct the "day of" your wedding the fee is $150.00
What happens if it rains?
Although we have been extremely “blessed” with the past 3000+ weddings in only having to move approx 18 due to weather we do recommend “Positive Thinking” with a back up plan. You may want to consider WEDDING INSURANCE
It is the responsibility of the Couple to have a "back-up" location in case of inclement weather.
** Generally we schedule the weddings at a County/ State Park to have access to a pavilion.
The majority of Hotels/ Condos generally do not have any type of outside shelter
** If you are having a reception it can be moved to that location.
** If you have only a few guests it can be “postponed” until the next day **time based upon Barefoot Weddings availability
The couple makes the final decision.
Will there be other people on the beach?
Yes. All beaches in the State of Florida are public beaches. We cannot “rope off” any part of the beach.
There are obviously certain times of the year when the beaches have more beachgoers than others.
Even “in season” the Families are usually beginning to “pack up” and leave the beach around 4:00. Then there are usually couples going for strolls along the beach. Many of them “watch” from a distance. There are some areas that are less populated than others. In all of the weddings that we have done we haven’t had any interference with beach goers.
Who performs the ceremony?
We provide an experienced beach wedding Officiate with all of our packages. Male and Female officiates are availalble.
Florida Notary Non Denominational Reverends
Can we bring our own Officiate?
Certainly, as long as he/she is Ordained or a Notary for the State of FL.
We will deduct $100.00 from the Package you choose. ** (This also takes off the unity heart of glass, blessings stones)**
This is not valid with the Intimate Island Package
**** We will not release our ceremony which includes the verses for the heart of sand and the Blessing stones…
Only Officiates directly affiliated with Barefoot Weddings Inc. are provided this information whereas a confidentiality agreement has been signed.
Can we write our own vows?
Yes, we encourage couples to be creative. We also send a packet of different vows/ ring vows to choose from upon receiving deposit.
When couples write their own vows we suggest the “Message in the Bottle Vows” as the vows are usually more personal and do not sound right being repeated after the Officiate.
Can we have a friend read a poem?
Yes, you can have a Friend/ Family member read a poem, sing, or lead in prayer.
Who takes the photographs?
All of our packages include photos by one of our staff photographers. All of the photos on the site have been taken by our photographers.
Couples will receive a link to download ALL of their with a photo release form and online ordering for prints and enlargements.
We strive to provide our clients with quality photos... however weather conditions may affect the outcome. If you are scheduled for a sunset wedding and arrive more than 15 minutes late we may not be able to take the amount of photos in package... there will be NO adjustment on costs.
When inquiring with an outside Professional Photographer, be sure to ask about reprints.
Will the prints you receive be watermarked?
Will you be provided a CD with copyright release for reprints? If so, will they print larger than a 4X6?
Can you purchase a CD for reprints? How much?
Is there online viewing/ordering available?
What is the cost of the prints through online ordering?
Can we provide our own photographer/ videographer?
Yes we will deduct our fee from the cost of the “package”. (Fees vary according to package)
We have found that most of the guests come with a camera/camcorder in hand.
*** Here's a Camcorder Tip for Friends and Family-****
Be sure to take your camcorder equipment out of the air conditioning at least an hour prior to the ceremony. When you go from AC into the heat, the dew condensation will not allow most camcorders to work. Also, tell them not to put it on pause. You can always edit it. I have done 3 ceremonies twice. The "videographer" forgot to unpause the camera after the Bride came down the aisle at all 3 weddings... PS, No extra charge! :)
Can we bring our own decorations for the beach?
*** Effective Immediately ***
Any person(s), companies or individuals, using Florida State Park Recreational facilities for weddings and/ or receptions must show proof of liability insurance. This includes, and not limited too, wedding decoration, tent/ chair rental companies, musicians, caterers, etc.
For more information, contact Fl State Park Recreational Services
*** Our insurance DOES NOT cover any decoration/ services other than our own**
Do you provide music?
Yes. Music is an ala carte item. The fee is $75.00. We will play mood music as the guests arrive on the beach, the processional and recessional, then put the mood music back on during the photos being taken. We can also recommend live music, harpist, violinist, cellist, guitarist, etc.
Do you provide chairs?
Yes, we do have chairs available on the ala carte list. However keep in mind that most of the guests will have a camera/camcorder in hand and do not sit in the chairs provided.
We do not recommend having a chair for each guest. If you’re having approx 40 guests, we recommend approx 16 chairs for immediate Family or for any elderly guests
or guests with health problems.
Beasley Park on Okaloosa Island and Henderson State Park in Destin offer beach wheelchair use with advance notice
We can provide up to 20 chairs per wedding.
If you want over 20 you must contact a chair rental company.
How do we obtain the Marriage license?
Both of you must apply in person, together at the Clerk of the Court. Both of must have a state issued photo ID (Drivers license)** make sure it is not expired! If you are not a FL resident there is NO waiting period, you will receive the marriage license the same day. Florida residents have a 3 day wait. The fee is $93.50. If either of you have been divorced within the past 6 months you must bring a copy of your divorce decree. If it has been more than 6 months you will be asked the county/state and date the divorce was finalized. To apply by mail click on the link on our Home Page.
What happens to license after the ceremony?
The following business day of the marriage we will hand deliver the license to the Okaloosa County Clerk of the court, provided this is where the couple obtained it from. The Clerks’ office will them mail the couple the certified copy.
Should the couple still be in town the next business day. They can return the license in person and receive the certified copy right there on the spot.
If the license was obtained through another county in the State of Florida it will be priority mailed to them the next business day.
What happens if we have to postpone?
Any deposits/payments will be applied to your new date within 1 year of the original date. This is non transferable.
What happens if we have to cancel?
All retainers/deposits are non-refundable. If you paid in full at the time of booking you will be refunded the difference of the appropriate deposit along with any other costs incurred of the amount paid in full.
If you cancel less than 30 days prior to your wedding date- all monies paid will be forfeited.
Do you handle the receptions?
No, we do not, however we are more than happy to refer you to area restaurants, caterers, etc.
The Barefoot People